Two-thirds of recent law graduates earn under £20k

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By Katie King on

But education add-ons could see lawyer salaries rocket

Two-thirds of law graduates earn less than £20,000 six months after they’ve graduated, the highest percentage among all degree disciplines.

Research by the Higher Education Statistics Authority reveals that almost a third of recent graduates end up in jobs that pay less than £20,000, but this is doubled to 64% when you look at law specifically.

The data, recently reproduced by the CIPD, shows 28% of law degree-holders are on £20,000-£30,000 shortly after donning their gown and mortar. Five percent are on £30,000 to £40,000, while 3% earn more than £40,000.

These salaries may seem instinctively low for a degree as lucrative as law, and are certainly low when compared to graduates from other disciplines.

Only 59% of languages students who graduated in 2016 begin on less than £20,000, for history and philosophy boffins it’s 50%, 49% for creative arts and design, 30% for social studies, 23% for business and administrative studies, and 19% for mass communications and documentation. Medicine and dentistry students are the highest earners right off the bat, just 2% getting less than £20,000 and a whopping 52% heading straight onto £30,000-£40,000.

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But, as anyone who has tried to forge a career in law for themselves will know, it takes more than having studied the subject at undergraduate level to make big money.

Law is perhaps unusual in that big-paying employers require extra qualifications before they’ll take you on in trainee roles, these qualifications being the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and the Legal Practice Course (LPC). The earnings figures above only include those who have graduated and are now in work, not those who have gone on to further education or have completed further education.

Obviously this isn’t great news for tired-of-studying law graduates, most of whom have about £50,000 of debt. However, money-chasers can take solace in the fact just an extra few years could see your salaries skyrocket.

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